Monday, July 21, 2008

Industry Info: Blind Selling

Occasionally, publishers will sell a book “blind” to booksellers, sometimes without disclosing the subject matter or even the author of the book. Why do booksellers take this risk? Because, according to The Explainer at, “‘blind’ books are almost always big sellers.”

Why might publishers want to hide the details of a book? Sometimes publishers use blind selling to ensure blockbuster titles make it to market before spoilers are revealed. Sometimes publishers have early knowledge about upcoming announcements, including the all-important Oprah Book Club:
Whenever a selection is made [for Oprah’s Book Club], that book’s publisher is notified ahead of time, but the information is embargoed until Oprah makes her official announcement. Until then, the publisher can try to sell the title blind. Sellers get e-mails informing them that a previously issued book will be an Oprah pick, but they don’t learn the title or the author. The seller then orders a certain quantity of an unknown book only to discover what they’ve ordered a couple of months later.


Jen said...

Okay, I think that is really interesting.

Gwen Dawson said...

I agree. I love learning about these strange industry quirks.